Will the deadly MERS virus sweep America? New fears of pandemic arise
By Shepard Ambellas
ORLANDO (INTELLIHUB) — A deadly virus known as MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) has made its second appearance on U.S. soil lately, this time in Florida, raising major red flags within the health community.
According to reports, a healthcare worker traveling from the Middle East to Florida contracted the virus and has been isolated. So far no others have been reported to be infected.
The deadly MERS virus is said to have a 30% mortality rate, which means that out of every three people who contract the virus, one will die.
As of yet the Center for Disease Control in Miami has been rather silent on the issue publicly. Moreover news reports are trying to calm the public, saying that the virus “doesn’t spread as easily as the common cold or flu”, however some worry that this will become a big issue.
According to the CDC:
On May 2, 2014, the first U.S. case of MERS was confirmed in a traveler from Saudi Arabia to the U.S. CDC and other public health partners continue to investigate and respond to the situation to prevent the spread of MERS-CoV in the U.S. At this time, no additional MERS cases have been identified in association with this case or otherwise in the U.S. The first U.S. case of MERS represents a very low risk to the general public in this country.
CDC continues to closely monitor the MERS situation globally and work with partners to better understand the risks of this virus, including the source, how it spreads, and how infections might be prevented. CDC recognizes the potential for MERS-CoV to spread further and cause more cases globally and in the U.S. We have provided information for travelers and are working with health departments, hospitals, and other partners to prepare for this.
Interestingly, an excerpt from an article titled Second U.S. case of deadly MERS virus found in Florida, published by USA Today reads:
MERS belongs to the coronavirus family that includes the common cold and SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, which caused more than 800 deaths globally in 2003.
Overall the CDC says about 400 people have been identified as coming down with the MERS virus, though there are differing reports about whether all those cases have been confirmed as MERS. More than 100 have died.
More cases are expected to hit the U.S. as some even fear that a full-blown outbreak, quarantines and even pandemic martial law may occur in some regions if the spread of the virus worsens.
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)